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Smith eager for a return to live action
5:00pm Thursday 9th January 2014 in Sport
MANAGER Paul Smith has got a full strength squad – now all he needs is the weather to play ball for Studley.
The Bees are ready and raring to make a concerted push up the table in the Midland Combination Premier.
Studley have only played 18 games this season, which is less than all their rivals pushing for a top-four finish.
Their efforts of a fantastic charge have been hampered by numerous games being rained off, with Saturday’s clash at Lichfield City postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.
It’s frustrating for Smith, who apart from the long- term injured Jake Wilcox, has all of his players available.
But he is confident his squad can cope with the inevitable backlog of games which will hit Studley near the end of the season.
Smith said: “I have everyone available but one player and now I need the weather to play ball.
“It’s frustrating because we want to push on up the table and I am very happy with the squad we’ve got.
“In December we had a lot of players missing and every game was won.
“But I had 22 players in training last Thursday, which is unprecedented in recent weeks.
“It means we will have a lot of games at the end of the season, but that can work in a team’s favour.
“At Earlswood last season we had a lot of games near the end but went on an unbeaten run.”
Studley take on Smith’s former team Earlswood at home on Saturday and he is looking forward to the test. (3pm ko) He made the switch to Studley in the summer, with former Bromsgrove Sporting manager Keith Draper taking the reins at Earls.
“I am looking forward to seeing a lot of friends,” added Smith.
“But we’ll be going out to win the match and pick pick up three points.”
Studley have not kicked a ball in a competitive game since they defeated Blackwood on Boxing Day, although they did play Redditch United in a friendly at the weekend and lost 7-0.
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